28.6.06

Canadians dying over Bush's drug policy in Afghanistan: report

CBC News: Canadians dying over U.S. drug policy in Afghanistan: report:
Canadian soldiers are dying for U.S. ambitions of stomping out the illegal opium trade in Afghanistan, a report from a French drug policy think-tank charges.

The Senlis Council said on Wednesday that Washington's goal of eliminating opium poppy cultivation in Afghanistan is doomed to fail and is endangering Canadian soldiers.

'Canadian troops have been handed an impossible mission which can only lead to significant military casualties,' said the report.

The United States says the anti-government insurgency is largely supported by profits from the drug trade which has flourished in the years since the Taliban fell in 2001.

But the U.S. has failed to offer alternatives to rural Afghan farmers who rely on the drug trade to support their families, the report says. Those farmers are faced with deepening poverty.

As a result, Afghans are increasingly turning against coalition forces and offering support to the Taliban, it said.

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